Services for the Mobility Impaired




In addition to traditional fixed route bus services, the BRTA supports paratransit public transportation (ambulatory or wheelchair accessible vehicles) to parties who are unable to access or navigate the fixed route service.
Please read this section in its entirety before you take the time to complete the application.
What follows is a description of the services supported by the BRTA and how an applicant's eligibility for those services is assessed.

FIXED ROUTE BUS SERVICE
The BRTA provides fixed route bus service to 12 of its member communities via 15 bus routes. Every BRTA bus is accessible to persons with disabilities. Each bus has a wheelchair lift or ramp with space to carry two wheelchair customers and each bus has a "kneeling service" to lower the front height of the bus closer to the ground to assist those who have difficulty boarding. Persons who are mobility impaired may be entitled to pay "half fare" (see below).

PARATRANSIT SERVICE
Paratransit Operators Paratransit service is simply a term used to describe public transportation services provided by something other than the traditional fixed route buses. In the BRTA service area, those paratransit services for the mobility impaired are provided by ambulatory van or chaircar (a van with a wheelchair lift). The BRTA historically has subsidized origin to destination paratransit services. In 1992, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the BRTA began to provide origin to destination curb service required to complement the fixed route bus service for persons who qualify under the Federal eligibility criteria. The BRTA will now determine eligibility for all paratransit services to the mobility impaired on the basis of those ADA eligibility criteria of functional ability. Paratransit eligible individuals may then use ADA or fixed route service. Passengers who require additional personal assistance should be accompanied by a Personal Care Attendant. BRTA paratransit services not mandated by the ADA may be provided to individuals of the following participating communities:

Adams Alford Becket Cheshire Clarksburg Dalton Egremont Florida Great Barrington Hinsdale Lanesborough Lee Lenox Monterey Mount Washington North Adams Otis Pittsfield Richmond Sheffield Stockbridge Washington Williamstown Windsor

In accordance with FTA 56 FR 45604 and/or 49CFR 37.129(a): Where the local planning process establishes curb-to-curb service as the basic paratransit service mode, however, provision should still be made to ensure that the service available to each passenger actually gets the passenger from his or her point of origin to his or her destination point. To meet this origin to destination requirement, service may need to be provided to some individuals, or at some locations, in a way that goes beyond curb-to-curb service.

BRTA established curb to curb as the basic mode of paratransit service. This is identified as "curb service from origin to destination." This is not intended nor will result in passengers being restricted to curb service only. Consistent with origin to destination service, BRTA regularly provides greater than curb service based on passenger need and /or trip by trip scenario. To be clear, in these instances door to door service is NOT considered enhanced but an accommodation. In these instances door to door service is considered ADA general service and NOT Premium Service. BRTA does NOT charge additional for this accommodation as it is based on passenger need rather than request for convenience.

Similarly, BRTA routinely extends its basic curb to curb service when passengers' mobility is limited and prevents them from getting to the curb of either their origin or destination. This is typically determined with input from the passenger during, or after, the ADA eligibility process and/or request by the paratransit provider.

Click to view paratransit fare information.

Eligibility Determination
A person's eligibility for public transportation paratransit services will be determined by their mobility and functional ability regarding access to navigate the fixed route service. That eligibility may be determined:
Services Available
"ADA" service is required as an adjunct service to the fixed bus services and is:
Assessing Your Eligibility for Paratransit Services
To enable the BRTA to accurately determine your eligibility for paratransit services, please fill out the application as completely and thoroughly as possible. Your signature is required on page 6 and 7 to complete this application. The questions help us to determine the specific limitations you have in using our bus service. They also help us determine when and under what circumstances you can use the bus or when paratransit service is required.
If any sections are unanswered, the form will be returned to you for completion.

Information that you provide in the application will be kept strictly confidential. The BRTA reserves the right to verify the information reported on the application by contacting persons noted on the form.
If have questions, please contact our office at:

(413) 499-2782 option 4
(800) 292-2782 Toll free

A determination of your eligibility will be made by the BRTA within 21 days of receipt of your completed application. The BRTA will notify you in writing of the decision about your eligibility for paratransit service. If it is determined that you are able to use the bus service and consequently are not eligible for paratransit service, the BRTA will explain the reason for the determination. An opportunity to appeal a BRTA decision will be available, per the BRTA ADA plan; the appeal process will be described in detail in the denial letter.
If your application is approved, you will be given information on the process to receive your photo identification card and the appropriate service(s) you are eligible for. If your mobility impairment is considered temporary, you will be granted TEMPORARY eligibility, which may be renewed if necessary. Non-temporary eligibility will be reassessed periodically by the BRTA.

HALF FARE BUS
Half fares for bus service are available through the BRTA in accordance with Federal regulations which require that public transportation be provided at one-half the base rate during non-peak hours to persons who are elderly or possess a valid Medicare card. The BRTA permits persons who are 60 years of age or older, possess a valid Medicare card, and persons who have been determined mobility impaired to ride for one-half fare at all times. In accordance with a Massachusetts interagency agreement, the BRTA will issue a "Transportation Access Pass" to persons who have been determined eligible by the Federal standard: "any individual who by reason of illness, injury, age, congenital malfunction, or other permanent or temporary incapacity or disability, including a person who is wheelchair bound or has semi ambulatory capabilities, is unable without special facilities or special planning or design to utilize public transportation facilities and services effectively."